1. Finding the right agent for you

Ensuring you find the right agent for you is vital to guarantee your home is let at the maximum possible value in the shortest time possible. It is a good idea to see how they present their properties online in comparison to competition. Check if they use professional photos, videos, floorplans (most agents do not create floorplans for rental properties, but we do) or offer any virtual staging options to create more interest online.

Communication is vitally important. So, we would encourage you to check out reviews online from both tenants and landlords. Additionally, we would recommend asking questions like these:

Who will be your main point of contact

How long has that person worked there?

When the tenant’s money is received, when can I expect it in my bank account?

Where is the property management department based?

In an ideal world, you will speak to the same person on all matters to ensure smooth communication of your investment and one of your biggest assets.

2. The consultation/valuation

The agent should come prepared with local comparables of similar properties that have been let nearby to then justify their pricing strategy. They then should walk you through their process to achieve a premium price in the shortest time possible.

The agent will also go through all the up-to-date legislation that is involved in the letting process and can help/advice on making the property legal and compliant to move in as a tenant.

3. Which service?

Once you have chosen your letting agent, you need to decide which service option you would like. These range from:

Let Only (the agent markets and finds you the tenant).

Rent Collection (the agent finds you a tenant and then takes responsibility for collecting the rent monthly. The Landlord is then responsible for the management of the property).

Full Management (the agent takes ownership of the full management of the home as well as collecting the rent and passing it onto you each month).

Also, you would need to discuss with the agent whether you are letting the property furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Details of what is left will be included at the move-in inventory. You would also need to obtain an EPC if you do not have one, this is a legal requirement before we can commence marketing the home.

4. Marketing!

You’ve agreed which service to move forward with and appointed the agent you trust will achieve the best outcome for you.

The agent will organise for their marketing to be carried out and will start to advertise on all major platforms. They will conduct full property ring out, use unique social media campaigns, and erect a ‘To Let’ board out - this will help drive traffic to the home and ensure your home achieves the best rent.

The agent must accompany all the viewings and you can leave a set of keys with them.

5. Agreeing an offer

After the agent has conducted the viewings, they will begin to receive offers and negotiate a premium price for your investment.

Once agreed, the tenant will pay a holding deposit (one week’s rent) to secure the home whilst background checks are completed. It is vital the agent conducts thorough checks to ensure the tenant is right for the home. This would include reference checks with previous landlords and their employer, credit checks to ensure their credit history is stable and salary check to ensure they can afford to pay the monthly rent, as a rule of thumb, the property rent should equal no less than x30 of what your yearly salary is.

The agent will also perform a right to rent checks on their tenants on your behalf.

6. Setting up the tenancy

The landlord and agent have several responsibilities to ensure the property being rented is safe and compliant for a tenant to move in.

There’s a lot involved in setting up a tenancy, and with the constantly changing legislation it’s important your agent has full knowledge of what is required.

7. Moving in

Once the tenant has passed all the reference checks, a move-in date will be agreed. A day or two before move-in, the tenant will transfer an agreed amount (usually one month’s rent) plus their deposit.

On the day of move in, the agent will meet the tenant to sign the tenancy agreement and hand over keys.

8. Moving out

Once the tenancy comes to an end, you can either serve the current tenant notice or ask to renew the agreement. If you wish to serve them notice, a new inventory will be carried out and the deposit (minus any costs for damage occurred) will be transferred back to the tenant, you can then ask the agent to relist the home to find a new tenant!

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